Failing Promises of Democracy: Structural Preconditions, Political Crisis and Socioeconomic Instability in Bosnia and Herzegovina

in Southeastern Europe
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This paper departs from the thesis that the notion of democracy in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been damaged dramatically during the 17 years after the war. The paper explores major factors that contribute to the crisis of democratic rule in Bosnia and thus focuses on a) structural problems of the constitution agreed to at Dayton and the resulting dysfunctional government, b) a permanent political crisis based on the instrumentalization of ethno-nationalism paired with c) prolonged socio-economic problems. As the paper shows the combination of all these factors results in a hybrid form of governance best described as electoral democracy or electoral ethnocracy. Such a system has a specific kind of its own logic and functionality; it is able to satisfy certain needs of constituencies while neglecting others, thus creating a permanent crisis in the country and leaving it in limbo.

Failing Promises of Democracy: Structural Preconditions, Political Crisis and Socioeconomic Instability in Bosnia and Herzegovina

in Southeastern Europe

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References

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    Factors contributing to the crisis of democracy in Bosnia – overview.

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